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Pentagon’s “Force of the Future” Report a Near Miss

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter Announcement

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter began his tenure with a pledge to modernize the U.S. military. Unlike most pronouncements of this kind in Washington, he spoke not about airplanes and tanks, but about the kind of people required for victory in future battles. In doing so, he acknowledged a central theme of true military reform: an effective force is only as good as the people who serve.

In a new initiative called “Force of the Future,” Secretary Carter established the goal of “maintaining our competitive edge in bringing in top talent to serve the nation.” He recently announced the first steps toward achieving that goal in a speech at George Washington University, detailing several changes to a personnel system that has remained largely unchanged for more nearly six decades. These include updating the retirement system, expanding fellowship programs, and modernizing personnel management software. His actions are a mixed bag: some good, some bad, and some irrelevant for meaningful reform.

But it is what he has so far left unsaid that holds the true potential for much-needed change.

To lean more, read the Project On Government Oversight’s analysis.

By: Dan Grazier
Jack Shanahan Military Fellow, POGO

Photo of Dan Grazier Dan Grazier is the Jack Shanahan Military Fellow at the Project On Government Oversight

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Reform Agenda, Defense

Authors: Dan Grazier

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